Senate OKs bill raising penalties for texting while driving

9NEWS at 4 p.m. 3/3/17.

DENVER (AP) - Colorado's Senate has passed a bill to increase the penalty for texting while driving from $50 to $300.

Drivers also would get four points on their license instead of one point under current law.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Lois Court passed 34-1 Friday and heads to the House.

Senator Randy Baumgarnder was the only person who voted the bill down. Officials say he voiced concerns about whether the bill should be inclusive of all distractions on the road like eating or listening to loud music.

The bill comes after a woman who was driving drunk and texting on her phone hit and killed a Parker couple riding a motorcycle near Franktown last year. Athina Munoz pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and was sentenced in January to 20 years in prison.

Sen. Court thanked members of Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving, created by motorcyclists after the deaths of Brian and Jacquie Lehner, for lobbying and testifying for the bill.

Chief John Jackson who is also with the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police says Colorado is leading the nation when it comes to distracted driving.

© 2017 Associated Press


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